I’d been a gym- goer for a good five years, since meeting my boyfriend Will back in 2012 and attending at least 3-4 times a week. But at the end of 2016, I noticed that my gym visits were becoming less and less frequent than it used to. The space I was going to wasn’t motivating me to do my workouts anymore and I decided that I would try something new.
I signed up to a 6-week beginner’s yoga course at a studio in South Yarra at the start of 2017. I had done maybe 3 yoga classes before in my life, and I always remembered feeling refreshed and relaxed after the Svasana (what I referred to as relax and go to sleep pose). I wanted to explore this sensation again but in a more regular and serious manner. Little did I know, that this decision would change my life for the better.
Once I more or less remembered the sequence of Sun Salutation A , my mind and my body became curious and I was hooked! I also had no idea that downward dog was so difficult (and how on earth people considered this as a “resting” pose, I would never understand). How much further can I push my body with the power of my breath? Then came the warriors poses ; 1, 2 and 3. I had an amazing yoga instructor named Sienna. She was calming, reassuring and always reminded me to be kind to myself.
The most important lesson I have learnt in yoga however, is to never compare myself with anyone else in the room.
“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.”
Almost 12 months later and I’m as flexible and more curious than ever. Besides the massive improvement in my flexibility (I can finally touch my toes), I continue to see progress in the poses I am doing. This week, after 11 months, I finally managed to come into a ‘semi’ mermaid pose. It wasn’t perfect, but I know, that that’s ok and that I can be proud of myself for how far I had come.
The satisfaction of achieving something you couldn’t do a week, 2 months, 10 months ago and realising that you have just nailed that eagle pose full expression, is another kind of motivation I could only hope for when I was at the gym.
Towards the second half of last year, I also discovered hot yoga. Now, that’s another level of challenge! Flowing in a 37 degree heated room, sweat trickling down your skin and still being able to focus on the breath – the satisfaction is like no other! It definitely makes you feel less guilty about finally devouring those hot chips you’ve been thinking about all week.
No matter how big or small my progress has been, my hunger for more yoga has continued to intensify.
Throughout this process, I have learnt about mindfulness and how being in the present is such a difficult space for one to create but how wonderful it can be once you are in it. And the fact that I can have that, for even just a couple of minutes each day, is enough to keep bringing me back to my mat. But i’ll this leave this quote right here for now by the wonderful Creig Chippen;
With all of your flaws ,
With all of your genius,
You are exactly who
you are supposed to be”
Photos by the amazing @fabzy85